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Friday, January 13, 2006
How does one behave when one is in the presence of a celebrity? Do you dog his footsteps? Or do you ignore him completely and go about your business? I wish I could have neatly fallen into one these categories. Instead I walked about the gym with casual indifference and then when no one was looking, goggled at him with my mouth open.
I didn’t really think of asking for a photograph until it occured to me that by pure luck I had my digi cam with me. Earlier in the day I had taken a lot of snaps at the office. Our internal website needed each individuals photograph and profile and so my digi cam was in high demand. My cubicle had been converted into a mini studio. I took the photographs while my colleague beautified (and later mutilated with warts, pimples, buck teeth, drool, Veerappan moustaches and horns) them with Adobe photoshop.
When I realised I had my digi cam, I became simultaneously excited and nervous. The rewards were obvious. I could flaunt the photo at the office and be popular for a day. On the other hand there was a good possibilty that Vikram would give me a disgusted look and ignore me.
I circled him hesitantly several times and each time he looked questioningly at me, I’d pick up the nearest dumbell and exercise some randomly chosen body part. In the space of one hour, I lifted 2.5 pounds for my biceps, squatted 100 pounds for legs, performed over 15 sets of crunches for my abs and did endless sets of push ups and pull ups.
I gradually realised that while I was setting up myself for an early death at the gym, I still hadn't asked him for a snap. So I drank a litre of water, did another 5 sets of squats and tripped and stumbled my way towards him.
When I actually asked him, it felt like an out of body experience. I heard my voice say something like “Vikram, would you mind if I had a picture taken with you? Then the world stopped rotating.
He smiled back.” Shall I take it using my cell phone?” he asked, showing me his fantastically advanced mobile. I didn’t hear a word of what he said. My God, he’d actually replied!
“I’ll bring my camera!” I blurted and ran up to fetch it.
So then I got him to stand next to me and got the former Mr.Chennai who is one of the instructors to take the picture. Because Vikram is one of the biggest stars in the Tamil film industry, he can smile confidently at a camera. Because I am a software engineer with one-year experience in Java, I can look with supreme confidence into a camera and look like I have amoebic dysentery.
I guess Friday the 13’th was a pretty lucky day for me :-)